Met Office forecasting high to very high air pollution in south of UK due to light winds and dust from the Sahara
High to very high air pollution levels are expected across Wales and southern parts of England over the next few days, according to the Met Office.
The Met Office’s air pollution forecast on the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)’s website shows levels of air pollution today (April 1) potentially reaching a ‘very high’ 10 – the highest on Defra’s scale – in parts of Norfolk.
Meanwhile, ‘high’ levels of air pollution – from 7-9 on the scale – are also forecast today in much of East Anglia, including in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex.
And, from tomorrow (April 2), this pollution is expected to spread across much of England and Wales, with very high levels forecast in the Midlands, South West England, and South East Wales, although pollution levels are expected to subside by the weekend.
The Met Office’s forecast states: ‘The current elevated pollution levels over parts of the UK are caused by light winds allowing the build-up of pollution, plus dust from the Sahara contributing to pollution levels.’
Under Defra guidance, during very high incidences of air pollution people are advised to avoid physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and especially if someone has symptoms such as a cough or sore throat.
Responding to the air pollution forecast today, Green MEP for South East England, Keith Taylor, said: “These extremely high levels of pollution highlight just how serious a threat bad air is to our health. Episodes like this often have a number of contributing factors.
“What seems clear is that towns and cities across South East England need to reduce the level of air pollution in their streets by cutting the amount of traffic. But on top of that it’s clear that our government must play a role in pushing for stronger air pollution laws from the European Union, rather than trying to water down the rules we already have.â€?
He added: “This smog, which is affecting Northern France as well as Southern Britain, shows just how important it is that we work with our European neighbours in creating laws that protect our environment and our health.â€?